Not to be confused with another indie band who released several 45's the next year, the more known band Hole was started by Curt Cobain's future wife Courtney Love and Capitol Records' employee and guitarist Eric Erlandson.
Love had previously worked as an exotic dancer/stripper as well as an actress in the 1986 movie, Sid & Nancy, not to mention a role in Straight To Hell. She had also played alongside Jennifer Finch (of L7) and Kat Bjelland (of Babes In Toyland) together in an act called Sugar Baby Doll, not to mention also being involved in an early version of Faith No More. She was born to hippie parents (including Grateful Dead associate Hank Harrison and Oregon therapist Linda Carroll) and spent much of her youth in New Zealand and England where her parents owned sheep farms before traveling the world with them. Rumour has it she attended Woodstock as a baby.
Taking their name from a line in Euripides' Medea, they placed an ad in the local paper, Flipside, for a bassist and drummer. Jill Emery and Caroline Rue were the chosen new members respectively and in the spring of 1990 the now complete band released Rat Bastard EP then moved to the Seattle area, a hotbed for their style of music at the time. 'Sub Pop' came calling shortly later resulting in the Dicknail (1991) EP. But the band signed to Caroline' for their follow-up debut album, Pretty On The Inside (1991). With this new release Hole had made it to the lower levels of the U.S. charts and got Album Of The Year award by New York's Village Voice magazine. Hole appeared to have some demons of her own that needed exorcising and she did so with fero on tracks likes Teenage Whore and Garbage Man. But the album was increasingly sharing the spotlight with the new talk of the Alternative and Grunge news world now centering around her relationship with Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, and her subsequent marriage to him in February 1992, and giving birth to his daughter, Frances Bean, later that summer.
With newcomers Patty Schemel (drums) and Kristen Pfaff (bass) came the next year, the group secured a deal with the David Geffen Company ('D.G.C.'), who won over Hole away from the offer by Madonna's Maverick label, the resulting record, Live Through This, in the spring of 1994 got a U.K. 12/U.S. 52. but any further success potential that this record may have had was stifled by the widely publicized suicide of Kurt Cobain on the 8th of April, only the evening before its release. Bidding everyone in the place to call him an asshole, she subsequently held a memorial two days later. But the Grim Reaper hadn't finished his work yet for more press coverage followed later that summer when Pfaff was found dead of an overdose in her bath on the 16th June. But the band trudged on to play a disappointing show at the Reading Festival in August; apparently it was Love's voice that let the more discerning fans down. But the press wasn't finished with her yet, and rumors flew about how Evan Dando of The Lemonheads was supposedly her new boyfriend, not to mention column inches consumed by her being fined for assaulting Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna, then there was the incident of Love and Schemel taking three security guards to court following an alleged assault incident while signing autographs stage front at a Green Day concert at Lakefront Arena. But two years later she would get more coverage when Love was acquitted of a stage assault on two teenaged fans in Florida nine months previous. With a new bassist in tow in the form of Melissa Auf Der Maur, they would proceed to play down Love's wild persona when she stepped onto the silver screen for Feeling Minnesota, and the more controversial film The People Vs. Larry Flint, while on the recording front, a version of Fleetwood Mac's Gold Dust Woman would appear, a track featured on the movie The Crow II: Of Angels.
But in 1998 Hole was back in full operation writing new material in association with Billy Morgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, although the subsequent dispute as to who wrote what and when made tabloid news. When it was all through, the album, Celebrity Skin (1998), gained a 9 U.S./11 U.K. placement. As a surprising twist of fate, Melissa Auf Der Maur jumped ship to join Corgan with Smashing Pumpkins.